Masi Oka

Japanese-American actor Masi Oka achieved international fame as the noble Hiro on the hit show "Heroes" (NBC, 2006-2010), years after enjoying industry success behind the scenes as a digital effects artist. Armed with an impressively high IQ and a degree in computer science from Brown University, Oka began working at the citadel of cinema special effects, director George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic, in 1997. Early work with ILM included effects work on Lucas' "Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace" (1999) and director Wolfgang Peterson's "The Perfect Storm" (2000). Having long harbored a desire to perform as well as to program, Oka moved to Los Angeles where he began to pursue an acting career with appearances on such series as "Scrubs" (NBC, 2001-08/ABC, 2009-2010). Everything changed, however, when Oka became the breakout star of 2006's most talked-about new show, "Heroes," in which he portrayed a mild-mannered office worker in Tokyo who suddenly discovers his ability to manipulate time and space. Suddenly, Oka was TV's latest "It" boy, featured on magazine covers and stopped by adoring fans everywhere he went. Roles in feature films and on television followed, even well after "Heroes" had left the airwaves. Simultaneously maintaining dual lives as a special effects artist and a successful actor, Oka was truly living the dream of pop-culture geeks across the world.